Monday, May 8, 2017


Story & Art : Frank Miller | Finished Art : Klaus Janson
Colors: Glynis Wein | Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Denny O’Neil | Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

The Plot: Kirigi awakens and seeks shelter to rest and recover. Three days later, still without his radar sense, Daredevil leaves Heather behind at his apartment to go search for his one-time mentor, Stick. Heather decides to seek out Stick as well, unaware she's being watched by Elektra, who then takes off after Daredevil while she herself is shadowed in turn by Kirigi.

At Josie's, Daredevil questions Turk for Stick’s whereabouts. When one of Turk’s associates gets the drop on DD, Turk realizes he's not well and departs with Grotto to acquire a weapon capable of taking the hero out. Meanwhile, Heather links up with a hood named Snuff, who promises to lead her to Stick. Elsewhere, Turk and Grotto break into the Cord Conglomerate’s headquarters in search of a battlesuit.

Elektra listens in as two informants direct Daredevil to Wall-Eyed Pike, the last man to see Stick. She then kills the men as they attempt to shoot DD in the back when he leaves. Soon Elektra, Turk, Daredevil, and Heather and Snuff visit Pike one at a time in turn, and he directs all of them to a pool hall called Duke’s.

There, Heather arrives first followed by Daredevil. DD takes out several roustabouts in a brief skirmish, then easily knocks out Turk when he arrives in the Mauler armor. Then, as DD asks Stick for help, outside Elektra is assualted by Kirigi. She manages to kill him and then finds herself pining over Matt Murdock.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: There aren't really any sub-plots in this issue. It's just a wall-to-wall wild goose chase as everyone and their mother searches for Stick.

This is, however, the very first appearance of Stick, who will go on to become a major part of the Daredevil mythos in the future.

And it should perhaps also be noted that when Daredevil visits Josie's, her plate glass window is neither seen nor even mentioned!

My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite Miller/Janson issues. It's a fast, breezy read, but it's magnificently illustrated with an outstanding climax as Elektra battles Kirigi in a sequence of big, bold, dialogue- and narration-free panels.

We also have one of my all-time favorite “bits” in the run, as everyone visits Wall-Eyed Pike in an increasingly hilarious sequence. A lot of people seem to remember only the “grim ‘n gritty” aspects of Miller’s DAREDEVIL, but the truth is that he peppered the run with a number of really funny bits and even a couple of entire issues played for laughs, as we'll soon see.

Perhaps it's his much shorter second run, the “Born Again” saga, that makes everyone recall Miller’s DD as unrelentingly dark and utterly joyless. But, while it has its rock-bottom moments, this initial run also has several genuine laugh-out-loud moments, with the Wall-Eyed Pike scene here being one of the best. Miller won't lose his sense of humor for a few more years yet.


  1. There's certainly some very dark moments during Miller's initial run, indeed.

    It's probably the fact that those issues are the ones that really stand out the most from Miller's run.
    The death of Elektra. Matt losing his grip on sanity in the aftermath. The final issue of Miller's original run.

    1. Oh, yes -- certainly the dark/dramatic material is what's easily the most memorable aspect of Miller's Daredevil. I just like to point out whenever I can that there was some lighthearted stuff worked in too!

  2. I can never unsee-hear "KRESSHH" ever again.

    I like the little touch that supposedly centuries-old Kirigi uses (as per the caption) a tachi sword, which historically has an apt justification. And I love that both times Elektra actually succeeded to hurt Kirigi she did it with his own sword.

    I also appreciate the Greek spelling is being used for Elektra, and not the Latin form with a 'c' which is how it would absolutely go in the mythological context. I chuckle at the otherwise very Agamemnon-appropriate name being understandably off-limits for PAD's Pantheon shenanigans.

    1. Wow, Teemu -- I somehow never really registered that the only way Elektra was able to hurt Kirigi was with his own weapon. I mean I caught that she did it, just never really put two and two together as to how she managed it!

    2. These very issues were a nr 2 story in our Spidey book back in the 80's and I've read them often enough myself, but it was a revelation to me too just now.

      Highly appropriate fanwank potential obviously, to the tune of Balder not having only the fatal piece of mistletoe sworn not to cause harm to him, or impervious Achilles being invulnerable only in the heel slash to Hulk's gamma radiation.

    3. Slight correction: Balder and Achilles are supposed to be vulnerable to and in, obviously. Invulnerability in the heel only or to a particular piece of mistletoe or to gamma radiation seeping from Hulk would be immensely stupid superpowers that you could only expect to meet maybe in an Upstart member.

  3. I did get a kick from the rousing game of “Stick Stick Duke’s”. Likewise the near-obligatory background shot of a figure in the outfit of the Distinguished Competition’s flagship character when Turk breaks in to get a Daredevil-fightin’ suit.

    1. "Stick Stick Duke's." I love it. And yes, I forgot to mention Clark's appearance here. For some reason I feel like Miller used him one other time during this run too, but I could be misremembering.